NEWS
02/08/2018 12:35 EST | Updated 02/08/2018 21:41 EST

New Brunswick RCMP Says Escaped Inmate Steven Bugden Back In Custody

He was serving an indeterminate sentence at Dorchester for second-degree murder.

Sackville RCMP are investigating the escape of an inmate from the minimum security unit at Dorchester Penitentiary. Steven Bugden, 45, is seen in an undated police handout photo.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Sackville RCMP are investigating the escape of an inmate from the minimum security unit at Dorchester Penitentiary. Steven Bugden, 45, is seen in an undated police handout photo.

UPDATE 2/8 - 9:36 p.m: Police say a convicted murderer who walked away from the minimum security area of a New Brunswick prison is back in custody.

In a statement, RCMP say 45-year-old Steven Bugden was arrested between Dorchester and Sackville, N.B., on Thursday.

EARLIER:

DORCHESTER, N.B. — A warrant has been issued for a Carleton University student's murderer after the man walked away from the minimum security area of a New Brunswick prison.

Dorchester Penitentiary staff noticed inmate Steven Bugden was missing during the 10 p.m. count Wednesday, assistant warden Emile Belliveau says.

Bugden had been in the condo where he lived with about four other inmates during a count six hours earlier, he said.

"He was discovered not in his living unit at 10 o'clock last night, and as soon as that happened the correctional officer responsible for doing the official count contacted the local RCMP and reported that the inmate was missing from his living unit," Belliveau said.

"They can walk out if they want. There's no walls or perimeter around the minimum sector at the Dorchester Institution," he said.

Budgen murdered Angela Tong, a Carleton University student, in 1997, according to the Truro Daily News.

Verne Equinox/Wikipedia
There had been no incidents with Steven Bugden at Dorchester prior to his escape, assistant warden Emile Belliveau said.

He stabbed 22-year-old Tong 19 times in a room at Ottawa's Embassy West hotel. He stuffed her body in a duffle bag and put it behind the hotel, the Windsor Star reported.

With others' help, he lured her to the room, the Ottawa Citizen reports, because he was infatuated with her and wanted to ask her to marry him. While they knew each other, they'd never dated.

When she attempted to leave, he stabbed her in the back and head multiple times from behind.

Bugden was serving an indeterminate sentence for second-degree murder.

They can walk out if they want.Assistant warden Emile Belliveau

Belliveau said he had been considered low-risk for public safety and there had been no incidents with him at Dorchester prior to his escape.

RCMP Const. Dan Hilchie said officers searched the facility and surrounding area with a police dog and have widened their search area.

"We're looking in the general area from where the walkaway happened, but we're spreading it out, touching base with family members, because if he would have been picked up by a vehicle or whatever he could have gone quite a ways," Hilchie said.

Contact police, but don't approach him

Hilchie couldn't say if the inmate is considered dangerous.

"We don't know his frame of mind at this point. We're trying to establish that, but he is in the custody of the Dorchester Penitentiary for a reason," he said.

Police describe the 45-year-old inmate as being 5'5", about 188 pounds and having a fair complexion, blue eyes and blond hair.

Police are asking anyone with information on Bugden's whereabouts to contact them, but not approach him.

With files from Emma Prestwich

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